How Does The Role You Play In Your Leader’s Audience Impact Your Effectiveness?
When it comes down to it, leadership isn’t about title but instead about making an impression, being invested, and wielding influence. Even the smallest of steps and actions of impression, investment, and influence can both make a difference and set the example for others.
One would be amazed how easy it is to influence people in a positive manner through example, demonstrating to others what is possible. One can shape the environment, even if just taking one small step at a time.
Much in the same way we can influence others through our examples, causing them to adjust their own actions and approach, the example can also be set with how leadership can be shaped.
Consider the current catch phrases one might hear nowadays — “managing up” or “leading up.” The common, underlying notion between these two ideas is that one can take steps to influence their bosses and/or leaders.
These ideas just seem to capture what most people would consider doing a great job. For instance, here’s a list of steps to “manage up.”
Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem like some mystical list of advice, but should instead be considered steps we should all take to be as effective as possible in our jobs. Everyone’s a customer in our environments, so these are the things we should be doing.
The list is not groundbreaking; it’s merely a reminder of how proactive we should be. Each of those items on that Managing Up list speaks to what one can do for their boss or manager. What is key to this approach is being able to separate yourself somewhat from your boss and provide an independent voice. You can’t just make his or her life easier. How can you deliver in your job as effectively as possible?
Consideration should be given to how much you come through for your boss but, also, how are you able to provide your own input and feedback? How willing are you to do that – provide support, as we all should, but also making sure to voice concerns?
Too often, too many choose to stay silent because they feel it is not their place to “rock the boat.” That’s the result of people not knowing their worth in an environment that doesn’t foster true collaboration and open communication.
But, keep in mind: Those who support leaders are just as responsible for the decisions and the outcomes as the leaders are. What a leader does is a reflection of you.
You were hired for a reason: To make the environment the best that it can be based on the skills you’ve brought to the table.
Are you putting those to good use? How might you be influencing your environment through the audience you give to your leaders? Ask yourself the following:
How Proactive Are You?
Do you just merely provide the items on the Managing Up list to your boss or leader, or do you step outside of your lane, when possible and appropriate, with new ideas. Overall, that list is reactive to who that boss is and what they need. So, in addition to those considerations, what will you bring of yourself?
This demonstrates to others the power of bringing more of themselves to the job. It is important to have that diverse representation of backgrounds, experiences, abilities, skills, and motivations.
How Vocal Are You?
Are you able to speak up and voice your concerns and opinions? Having the right idea or reaction in mind only helps if you are able to speak up and convey it.
This demonstrates to others how important it is to speak up when it strikes them. Too many people subdue themselves over concerns about what the response might be. Why would you want to be in an environment where you can’t reasonably voice your value?
How Honest Are You?
Once you do speak up, how honest can you be? Can you see, believe, and convey the truth about your situation, mission or goal? Can you convey your disappointment as well as your corroboration, happiness, and satisfaction? With regard to your inner reaction to the work in front of you or your boss’s position, do you honestly, yet respectfully, voice your concerns?
This demonstrates to others that they can take chances, in the right form, to convey what they may see as issues to the mission, especially if it may be something no one else sees.
How Committed Are You?
Do you provide as much as you can to the mission to ensure everything you’re involved in is working toward effective success, and not just completion?
This demonstrates to people that you’re really in the game. They need to see you’re invested in the work and proactive about the mission and not just providing the bare minimum for the status quo.
How Flexible Are You?
Are you able to step out of your comfort zone? If going down a path you’re not familiar with, are you able to stretch yourself, within reason, to understand the path that has been taken?
This demonstrates to others around you how important it is to delve into the unknown. That even if you might not have the knowledge or ability the leader needs of you, you’re willing to take on the challenge and learn.
How Proud Are You?
How much do you respect yourself, your work, experience, and personal goals? Stepping up in all these ways listed above demonstrates that you are proud of what you can offer and the value you can provide. Pride is not ego. It is not selfishness nor cockiness. Like confidence, it is merely an awareness.
This demonstrates to others that they should convey what they understand of themselves and their strengths. Because most people confuse pride for other lesser-desired attributes, they falter in their ability to demonstrate what they’re capable of and standing behind that true ability.
The audience one provides to their leaders should include these steps. How one approaches their leadership, through this advice, allows them to influence the environment and help set the stage for others in the culture.
The reaction one provides to their leaders influences just as much as any direction or motivation the leader might put forward.
Our reaction can add to the effectiveness of the workplace and help cover any blind spots which might not be detected by others.
Our effective work is demonstrated in both how we proact and react. It has to be a healthy balance of both.
So, What About You?
- What kind of audience do you provide to your leaders?
- What kind of example do you set for others through your actions?
- Setting the Example: How has it worked out for you in the past? When has it not worked out?